Three Quick Ways to Build Your List

Are you working to build an opt-in list of people interested in what you’re offering?  Here are three simple ways to grow that list.

1. Your Website

Put an opt-in form on every page of your website.  With the exception of sales pages where you want your reader to focus on one thing (buying your product/service), every other page of your site pretty much needs to have an opt-in box.

Try your sidebar, your header, your footer, at the end of your posts.  Test out different areas and see what converts best for you.

Right now, the form you see below this post is getting a higher rate of opt-ins for me than the form in my side bar.  It’s not just the position though–it’s also a much better opt-in offer than the boring one in my side bar.  Yes, I’ll be fixing that soon.

Which demonstrates an important point–it doesn’t have to be perfect!  You can always improve what you’ve got, so start somewhere.

2. EMail Signature

Add a note about your freebie to your email signature.  Just Google (or search on YouTube) for the name of your email program and the phrase “how to add a signature” and you’ll find step by step how to do it.

Or check out Wisestamp.  I use it and love it.  I’ve got mine set to feature my last blog post and it’s increased traffic to my blog.

3.  Social Media

Let people know about your freebie on social media.

Put the link in your profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and where ever else you’re active.

And share it once in a while, too!

Want More List Building Tips? Need Help Getting Started?

Join me for a free teleseminar March 27th at 1pm PST (recording available after the call) and I’ll share with you the basics of how to create your list and what to do next to start building it. Just fill in your details below so I know where to send the teleseminar info and bonus guide:

What’s your biggest question about building a list?

Hint: See what I did there? Yes, another way to build your list!

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  1. Wisestamp looks like a great tool. Thanks for the tips here in general.

    How did you create that beautiful newsletter form at the end of your blog post? Is it just a form created by your email marketing provider? I use MailChimp.

    Thanks for your tips! :)
    Morgan recently posted… 20 Reasons You Hate Twitter & What To Do About ItMy Profile

    1. The 101+ free & cheap marketing ideas I just grabbed plain code from my email marketing service (1ShoppingCart) and then added my image and text with it. If you’re using one that provides a form builder (like Aweber, I’m not sure about MailChimp) there’s probably an easier way to do it. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Stepping Back + Thinking Bigger = Orange & PinkMy Profile

  2. may i ask what.s an opt-in list??
    helen bogun recently posted… Embedding Fonts in my Blog?My Profile

    1. The list of people who’ve given you permission to email them — your ezine, marketing promos, etc. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Is What’s Causing You To Lose Sales Mostly In Your Head?My Profile

  3. Hi Michelle,

    Excellent tips – interesting about the sidebar opt-in.

    I am testing some things out on my site right now and that’s a great point. I’ll have to see how a form right below the post does.

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Christine Brady recently posted… Zeroing In on Your Target AudienceMy Profile

    1. I’ve found that one spot seems to convert really well for me — I’m thinking because someone who’s read through the whole article and felt it was worth reading is more likely to feel like they’ll get value from my opt-in gift.

      It’s interesting for sure to test the different spots and different offers to see what works.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Three Quick Ways to Build Your ListMy Profile

  4. Hi Michelle, Excellent advice. Its easy to forget you can get subscribers using your email signature. Especially if you send lot of emails each day.
    Phil recently posted… Why Your Company Should Have a Blog?My Profile

    1. Exactly! For many of us who email frequently that’s LOTS of opportunities to offer the chance to opt-in. :)

  5. Great points, I think promotion through social media may give you more subscribers. Opt-in sidebar are common way which many bloggers have tried successfully.
    Patrick recently posted… Dissertation Writers – Why are they ImportantMy Profile

    1. I agree, Patrick, both work well. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Really its great post some points are very helpful for improving my blog thanks for sharing wonderful post.
    abhinav recently posted… Aiseesoft DVD Ripper SoftwareMy Profile

    1. You’re welcome, Abhinav.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… May We Have Your Two Cents?My Profile

  7. Some great points there Michelle – thanks! You’ve just reminded me that I need to get onto Aweber and ask them the simplest way to have an opt-in at the end of a post. :-)
    Tanya Smith recently posted… Social Media for Business – What the Facebook Slap Reminded UsMy Profile

    1. If it’s a Genesis theme, you can use Genesis Simple Hooks plugin. For Thesis, I believe you do it with open hooks.

      Other themes I’m not sure but I believe there’s a post footer type of plugin that lets you add code to the bottom of all posts so you could use something like that and just paste in what AWeber gives you when you create your opt in form. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… May We Have Your Two Cents?My Profile

      1. I use Thesis as well and just found this article about how to include an opt in form at the bottom of the post.

        Unfortunately it requires messing with the custom.php code. I’ve done that before and wiped out my entire site!
        Cindy Schulson recently posted… Make Your Own Mark – Advice from Glinda the Good WitchMy Profile

  8. Very interesting post and very helpful! :) i would surely try that Wisestamp. :) Thanks for sharing this.. Keep up the good work!
    Nicole recently posted… income protectionMy Profile

    1. Have fun with wisestamp, Nicole. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to “Look Good” in WritingMy Profile

  9. Yep, these are 3 quick ways to build our list, quick ,easy and FREE way, I think using social network is better than email signature because we can talk in there more frequently than writing email. BTW, thanks for share your experience, Michelle.
    Trung Nguyen recently posted… How To Start a Blog From Scratch: The Only Guide You NeedMy Profile

    1. Social networking definitely lets us get in front of more people at once! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Entrepreneur’s PledgeMy Profile

  10. Great info! Confused about one thing though. Using the signature to drive traffic to your blog, I understand, but people on my list have already opted in. Why would I need to send them info about a freebie in an e-mail signature? I understand using it in correspondence e-mails where people aren’t opted in but I don’t see the benefit of having someone optin to your list again?
    Martha Giffen recently posted… Does Your Online Business Need Some St. Patrick’s Day Luck?My Profile

    1. Hey Martha, I wasn’t clear enough in the post. I meant email signature for outgoing emails — just the everyday kind, not our emails to our existing lists. So every time I reply to an email someone sends me, my signature could include an invitation to join my list (right now it doesn’t because I’m testing some other things in that spot).

      Of course if you want to get into list segmentation and more advanced strategy (you may have been already thinking to the more advanced since I know you know this stuff) I often invite my existing list to opt-in for other offers because it shows me who is engaged with me and what they’re interested in, allowing me to segment my lists better and target my mailings.

      For example, I sent out a mailing yesterday that invited my subscribers to a webinar on list building. Sure, I could have just sent them the link since they’re already on my list. But this way I know who is interested in list building and can target my mailings to them–they get more of what they want, and the rest of my list isn’t bombarded with it. In the future, I can easily see who wanted list building info and send them follow up tips and articles.

      Same with freebies. When I create a new one I’ll often tell my existing list about it and either offer them the opt-in page, or track and segment based on who clicks the link to grab it.

      So I do actually use that strategy as well, just to better segment my list so I can pinpoint who wants what. That’s a little more in depth than I was referring to in the post though. ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… You Are What You Share?My Profile

  11. Signed up for your list building event, Michelle — thanks.

    I just started testing an opt in box I’ve chosen to place below my blog posts. Have a feeling I’ll get better results than putting it in the sidebar.

    Love all your tips — especially social media sharing. :)
    Melanie Kissell recently posted… Put the Right Lure In Front of the Right FishMy Profile

    1. That’s one we sometimes forget I think. People tell me they’re on social media to build their lists but they never invite people to opt-in! Make it easier, remind people what we’ve got, and they’re more likely to stop by and sign up. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… You Are What You Share?My Profile

  12. Another tip is putting something on your business card, perhaps a line on the back that says “For a free report on , visit .”
    Thanks M.
    Debra Jason recently posted… Soaked in ParadiseMy Profile

    1. Great tip! Thanks, Debra.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… May We Have Your Two Cents?My Profile

  13. Hi Michelle

    Thanks for some great tips, I had not heard of WiseStamp so have just looked at the site and signed up!
    Like a few others that have left a comment I am going to test an opt-in form below my posts instead of the side bar it seems the way to go for better results.
    Have a great day
    Pauline recently posted… Tips on Emailing Your ListMy Profile

    1. Worth a test to see!

      And I love Wisestamp. Have fun with the new “toy.” ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… May We Have Your Two Cents?My Profile

  14. Hi Michelle,I am happy to visit your post. I really like the tips and ideas that you have shared here. Wisestamp looks good to join.
    Pete Goumas recently posted… MixBook Coupon & ReviewMy Profile

    1. Thanks Pete, glad this was helpful for you.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 4 Fun Ways Experts Build Their Mailing ListsMy Profile

  15. I read this post several days ago but I did not have time to leave a comment. Even though I already created a signature through G mail I added the Wisestamp signature. I am testing it for awhile to see how my peeps respond to it.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Adalia John recently posted… Encouraging Empowering Motivational Quotes by WomenMy Profile

    1. Good plan, Adalia. Testing to see what works is the smart way to do it. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to “Look Good” in WritingMy Profile

  16. Thanks for the great tips Michelle. If I can add a quick comment from the perspective of building a targeted list. The key is having a valuable giveaway that addresses a top burning challenge or goal for your target market. I found that a lot of people struggle with this and actually created a giveaway about giveaways. If you don’t mind me sharing it, it is

    Thanks and warm wishes,
    Cindy Schulson recently posted… Make Your Own Mark – Advice from Glinda the Good WitchMy Profile

    1. Definitely! Having the right match between your giveaway and your market is KEY.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Want More Traffic to Your Blog?My Profile

  17. Social media is very useful in many ways it also helps in building list. All points are very informative and creative.
    Ayesha recently posted… iPad3 don’t has SIRI just a voice dictationMy Profile

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